POLICY: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signs legislation requiring the state’s utilities to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, as state officials express confidence the new law will withstand a legal challenge from neighboring North Dakota. (MPR News)

FOSSIL FUELS: Minnesota’s largest electric co-op wants the option to burn fuel oil at an existing gas peaker plant, which environmental groups call a step backward that will increase air pollution. (Energy News Network)

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• Water quality advocates raise concerns that the Inflation Reduction Act’s incentives for corn-based biofuels and bioenergy could lead to more water pollution in the Midwest. (The Guardian)
• The head of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says “capturing and sequestering carbon will be life or death for most ethanol plants over the next five years.” (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

• The fate of a 73-turbine wind project near a popular bird-watching area in northwestern Ohio could soon be decided by the state Supreme Court. (Cleveland.com)
• A central Iowa county holds a public hearing on long-discussed changes to its ordinance regulating wind energy development. (Times-Republican)

• The involvement of prominent Republican donors and politicians in carbon pipeline projects has made it “politically uncomfortable” to raise concerns, says one Iowa state senator. (Radio Iowa)
• An Illinois county rejects a carbon pipeline developer’s offer of $18 million over 30 years in exchange for cooperation with its proposal. (Tri States Public Radio)
• Kansas faith leaders join environmental groups in calling for more transparency from the Keystone pipeline’s operator following a major spill in December. (Kansas Reflector)

• Ohio and Indiana are among the states poised for a major solar energy buildout despite opposition to new federal clean energy incentives by its Republican lawmakers. (Bloomberg)
• Wisconsin farmers are opting to lease portions of their land for utility-scale solar projects to secure reliable income that can allow the rest of their property to remain viable farmland for generations. (Sun Prairie Star)

OHIO: The trial of former House Speaker Larry Householder is delayed for a second time after a juror tests positive for COVID-19. (WHIO)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A specialty vehicle manufacturer will invest $16 million to produce up to 3,000 electric commercial vehicles per year near Lansing, Michigan. (MiBiz)

• FirstEnergy’s plan to sell a 30% stake in a transmission subsidiary for $3.5 billion highlights the “attractive value” of federally regulated transmission businesses, analysts say. (Utility Dive)
• Michigan utility Consumers Energy says its recent grid infrastructure upgrades led to 20% fewer outages last year compared to 2021. (WOOD-TV8)

BUILDINGS: An Ann Arbor, Michigan developer receives local approval to build an all-electric, highly efficient apartment building that will produce more energy than it consumes. (MLive)

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JOBS: The wind, solar and electric vehicle manufacturing sectors are driving clean energy job growth since the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law last August. (CNBC)

COMMENTARY: Economic modeling shows how Minnesota stands to benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act’s targeted investments in clean energy and efficiency, a researcher writes. (MinnPost)

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Andy compiles the Midwest Energy News digest and was a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News from 2014-2020. He is managing editor of MiBiz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was formerly a reporter and editor at City Pulse, Lansing’s alternative newsweekly.